Arki work around and about next weeks.


Yes there is some movement in the front! Arki tonttu is sending people around to share some of our work out there. Follow what we have to say in the following venues (in no particular order):

1) Andrea, Sanna and Joanna are arranging with other cleaver people a workshop on “Co-designing and Commoning” for NORDES 2015 conference at Stockholm (Konstfack University) in June 9th

2) Miia, Regis and Kari-Hans are also hosting a workshop on “Utopia and Design of Society” for the same NORDES 2015 Conference taking place the 9th of June.

3) Mariana is participation on a panel on Perspectives on the contextualization of audiovisual online archives: access and publication formats organized in the context of the NECS Conference on Archives for the future. She will share some of the work done on EUScreen project. Łódź, Poland, 18.-20. June 2015

4) Andrea will be giving 2 keynote lectures. The first one in the Design, Social Media and Technology to Foster Civic Self-Organisation Conference at University of Hasselt on 22 of May and a second one in the Design For All Day of Aalto University on 29th of May.

5) Arki tonttu will be around Media Lab Spring Demo Day. Come and say hi while Mariana presents the results of the Video Poetry Marathon and Sanna, Neea and Andrea present a demo of Culture Cam. Also Mariana and Andrea will talk about the results of the New Media for the third sector study project they organized. These all happen on 28th of May here in Miestentie.

6) Sanna and Neea  will be in Copenhagen by the end of May setting up together with EuropenaCreative partners the experimental exhibition Mix it up! at the  National Gallery of Denmark (SMK). The exhibition features a series of reinterpretations and reconfigurational pieces based on original works of art of SMK collection done by contemporary artists and designers (including a piece by our own Neea) using open content.  In that context there will also be a few workshops open to the public. Our team (accompanied by arki alumni Kati) will be hosting an animated GIF workshop on May 29.

7) Miia is curating an exhibition on environmental art with the theme Utopia. The exhibition features also a seminar and interesting discussions. Arki tonttu invites all to visit the lovely lake of Nahkiala to enjoy the works. The opening is the 12th of June

8) EXTRA: Last week Mariana, Sanna, Andrea and Joanna where in Copenhagen presenting an idea for “independent living” they have been developing in the context of the Nordic Innovation real challenge. Their idea is amongst the 75 selected for the second round of the competition from more than 400 submissions.

After all these we will all drop of exhaustion and retire to enjoy the brief and beautiful Finnish summer.

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UPSS! Ranciere, Luhman, Mouffle .. and some Japanese visitors


During our last arki meetings Miia has been trying to get us all acquainted with the ideas of agonism (Mouffle), the distribution of the sensible (Ranciere) and social systems (Luhman). Arki tonttu still has her head spinning around with so many thoughts and discussions around those issues. Thank god Miia is a cleaver and passionate speaker able to make sense of complicated matters for poor design researchers like the rest of us… If you want to learn a bit about the background for this talks go ahead and read a bit of Miia’s dissertation (available here in Finnish:

Apart from that we are happy to welcome 2 interesting research visitors to our team:

Tomoyuki Okada, from Kansai University in Osaka is staying with us until the beginning of April 2016. He is a pioneer of mobile media studies in Japan.

Takeshi Sunaga, professor at Tokyo University of the Arts and former professor of Information Design at  Tama Art University. He will be staying with us for a month.

With a second sociologist on board, and one more designer, this is for sure getting interesting 😉

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Searching visually our cultural heritage with Culture Cam

After some months of work arki tonntu is proud to announce that a working demo of Culture Cam application is finally online, and is looking good!

So what is Culture Cam for? In a nutshell Culture Cam is an online tool to search and explore free/open content from Europeana through colours, patterns and forms.

Explore Europeana open content with your webcam on

Explore Europeana open content with your webcam on

  1. Searching Visually: Culture Cam has been thought as a complement and alternative to the more traditional text based search that is currently available in Europeana. Visual search is particularly well suited for content that is actually, very “visual”. This sounds redundant, but is not always obvious :).
  2. Open Content: Our aim is to encourage people to connect to the cultural heritage made available by the portal in creative ways. We envisioned that designers, artists and practitioners might find in Culture Cam an interesting ally in discovering cultural heritage objects as sources for new, derivative designs. This is why the searchable content from Culture Cam is all either in the Public Domain or it’s copyright has been expired.
  3. Situated practice: Europeana is an incredible knowledge repository of our historical assets, exemplifying the many ways designers and artists have built and enrich cultural commons together. Thus we hope, the tool will support creative practitioners to locate their work in wider historical terms.

Go and try it out at Note: this is still an evolving prototype, so for now it is only optimized for Firefox and the content available is limited, however that will change in the future, with more browsers supported and more open content available.

An example of the search results

An example of the search results of Culture Cam

Sanna and Neea have been collaboration with Spild af Tid (a Danish design agency) and with the Austrian Institute of Technology to develop this application. This week here in Helsinki we are running a series of UX test sessions (together with our partners from platoniq) aswell as some workshops with practitioners, to envision new creative practices that might be amplified with tools like Culture Cam. Culture Cam design and development is part of the Design Pilot of the eCreative project (Funded by the EU FP7 program)

One of the search items' original entry in Europeana

A search items’ original entry in Europeana portal

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Women tell stories using open audiovisual archives

Women curating and remixing archive video material to tell a new story

Women curating and remixing archive video material to tell a new story

As part of Mariana’s research on intercultural matters, digital tools and the re use of AV archive materials, she has been running a Video workshop in Monika Naiset Liito, a multicultural women’s association here in Finland. Participants were coming from Egypt, China and Nigeria and other countries. The workshop facilitate immigrant women to create their own stories using audiovisual archives. Three videos were created as a result.

Lovely stories and wonderful women

Lovely stories and wonderful women

On the 5.03 as part of the International Women’s week, the videos were shown in Monika’s premises and the participants received their certificates. We discussed on the process of making these videos and on the future possibilities for showing and publishing these videos. Last Saturday 7.03 , there was an exhibition on the making-off the video and the videos in Caisa Cultural Center as part of the International Women’s day. The audience was positive and encourage us to continue this work in collaboration with immigrants.

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Re-designing our audio-visual cultural heritage

Couple of things we have contributed towards the goal of re-configuring our relationship with audio-visual cultural heritage

1) Mariana hosted a workshop on “How can AV contextualization practices benefit best from the affordances of online publication? ” in the context of the EUscreenXL project annual conference in Rome “From Audience to User: Engaging with Audiovisual Heritage Online”. The broad theme of the conference was users and usage of audiovisual archives. Soon the project will publish a blog post with the results of the workshop.

At the Mozilla Festival 2014

At the Mozilla Festival 2014

2) Neea and Sanna together with other Europeana Creative partners (and support from Open Knowledge Finland/OpenGLAM) hosted a session at the Mozilla Festival 2014 in London. The session aimed at connecting the digital cultural heritage offered by Europeana to communities of designers and artists interested in open cultural content – data, pictures, sound, videos – as inspiration and sources for new derivative works, such as animations and films, media art installations, textile patterns, and other design artefacts.

3) We are working on the Europeana’s Design Challenge! The challenge invites a wide range of works that appreciate contemporary and creative approaches to the digital cultural heritage materials. For example, including but not limited to reinterpreting europeana content with digital fabrication, media art, design objects, web/mobile applications and services. Deadline is 15th of January! More info

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Urban information Toolkit


Neea, Joanna and Andrea just released The urban information toolkit a publication that provides a set of tools to inspire and facilitate collaboration inside heterogeneous groups of people that are interested in designing services and new media solutions around urban data and information. Grab a free PDFcopy from ARTS bookshop or from Aalto DOcs platform

Some information about the work done as background for this publication can be found from the Citizen Toolkit proposal blog.

Arki tonttu is both happy and sad, we got a nice publication and Joanna has moved to Arhus University to start her PostDoc! We are very very proud of her! Good luck 😉



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Post-summer harvest time: design commons, urban planning, media design

A short overview of recent publications:

1) Last May, Sanna attended the Cumulus conference in Aveiro Portugal to present a paper on “Practices and challenges in creative re-use of audio-visual media” written together with Kati (We miss you!). Work is based on the Licence to Remix workshop we did some years ago.  Alastair Fuad form Design department wrote a  blog post reviewing this paper and other contributions in the same session.

2) Sanna, Mariana and Andrea attended the Participatory Design Conference in Namibia (Ohhh Africa <3) where they presented 2 papers and went on a 2 hour safari 😉

Marttila, S., Botero, A., & Saad-Sulonen, J. (2014). Towards Commons Design in Participatory Design. In Proceedings of the 13th Participatory Design Conference: Short Papers, Industry Cases, Workshop Descriptions, Doctoral Consortium Papers, and Keynote Abstracts – Volume 2 (pp. 9–12). New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/2662155.2662187

Salgado, M., & Galanakis, M. (2014). “… So What?”: Limitations of Participatory Design on Decision-making in Urban Planning. In Proceedings of the 13th Participatory Design Conference: Short Papers, Industry Cases, Workshop Descriptions, Doctoral Consortium Papers, and Keynote Abstracts – Volume 2 (pp. 5–8). New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/2662155.2662177

3) Sanna (and Kati)  also attended the NordiCHI conference that our school was hosting this year to present work done for the EUScreen project.

Marttila, S., & Hyyppä, K. (2014). Rights to Remember?: How Copyrights Complicate Media Design. In Proceedings of the 8th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Fun, Fast, Foundational (pp. 481–490). New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/2639189.2641217

Not bad, thinks arki tonttu

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Redesign of Society initiative in the works

We are now developing an initiative for transdisciplinary study and research with the theme of “Redesign of Society”. The initiative will start with a study project that will be launched in September 2014 and is open to MA and doctoral students from all universities participating in the national JOO agreement. We are also starting similar activities in collaboration with universities in Japan this year.

What does this theme mean? The idea is to develop a design oriented approach to thinking about at the tremendous changes and challenges in society. We will attempt to understand what kinds of designs and design ecosystems there are in society and what kinds of forces are at work; this is a certain kind of redesign process in society that is taking place whether we participate in it actively or not. At the same time, we will attempt to develop ideas of desirable future society, and consider what would it mean to develop a more proactive design stance towards making such desirable developments possible.

Examples of the topics we will be discussing:

–       the state and future of the global digital environment (intelligence agencies etc. hacking and spying, corporate platform dominance, growing complexity and unsustainability of digital ecosystems)
–       the growing inequality and societal unrest, future of jobs, degradation and depletion of environment and natural resources vs sustainable society, climate change
–       how to evolve the business, financial and economical systems towards greater social responsibility
–       the problems with intellectual property, and the need to preserve and strengthen the cultural and technological commons of humankind
–       critical review and envisioning of future predictions and scenarios (robots, singularity, surveillance,…), creating design propositions and making them visible and tangible for societal debate

The topic is so wide that beyond this list, it is not very meaningful to attempt to outline the agenda further in the context of this small post; the content and diverse foci will be established and refined during the collaborative processes. Instead, only a few words about the ways of working. We will look at the established beliefs and contrast them with the critical voices and movements emerging around the world. We will develop activities that allow us to invite students, researchers, experts, citizens, organizations and communities from all disciplines and fields of life to participate in the processes, over the next several years. Our focus will be critical, pragmatic and transdisciplinary – we will try to develop holistic insights and question and reframe conventional beliefs when necessary. Everyone participating will obviously be able to commit to and develop a subjective understanding of the topics, but we aim to develop a community that shares some common design oriented language, tools and methods for working with the topics, informed by input from disciplinary experts.

We are now hiring a post-doctoral researcher to help me in setting up this initiative, and this post is partly aimed to inform the potential applicants. It is possible that I will edit this post or add more information to the comments during the time the application period for the post is open.

This work will be partly based on the thinking explained in three of my papers, available through these links:

Design for Society in Transformation 2001
Design ecosystems as the landscapes for co-creation 2013
Design Ecosystems and the Design of Everyday Life 2013

(UPDATE 29.5.2014 01:05: these links above are now new, as the earlier ones did not work properly. Please email me at if you encounter any problems.)

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Urban environments, museums and crime reporting

Arki tonttu is again extremely proud to share some of the fruits of arki people work here.


1) Joanna has received yesterday the printed books of her dissertation “Combining Participations. Expanding the locus of Participatory E-planning by combining participatory approaches in the design of digital technology and urban planning“. It looks GORGEOUS! It is also extremely timely, well written and relevant. If you want to learn what New Media and participation has to offer for  democratic possibilities in urban environments, do read this. The defense is planned for the last weeks of April!

2) Mariana has also received her newly published book (in Spanish) in Argentina “Diseñado un Museo Abierto“. The book deals with new media interventions to open up the museum experience to the wider community.

3) Last, but not the least, Andrea, Sanna, Mariana and Joanna participated yesterday in a workshop organized by SITRA and the Minister of the Interior that aimed to explore what could service design bring to public administration. During the workshop six teams participated in a contest to develop concepts to improve the processes of making racist crime reports in Finland. Challenging topic! After they WON the contest ;). Good Job!


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We have moved! New address in Otaniemi (Espoo)

Since January 2014 our Department has moved to the Aalto University campus in Otaniemi (Espoo). After much debates and planning our whole community (including Media Lab and parts of the Graphic Design MA program) shares now the same premises with the Architecture Department in Miestentie. For arki tonttu the commuting is now some 30 min from home!


Sniff… arki tonttu misses Arabia building, but the air is certainly fresher here!

Arki research group – Media Lab
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Miestentie 3
02150 Espoo

For postal deliveries the address is:

Arki research group – Media Lab
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
PO box 16500
00076 Aalto

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